Wednesday, February 17, 2010.
I don’t know if this has ever happened before—maybe in 1994, when June Daugherty’s Lady Broncos drew over 11,000 for a Dollar Night game against Big Sky juggernaut Montana. But the Boise State women are set to upstage the Bronco men tonight, thanks to the timing of a twin bill at Taco Bell Arena. The BSU women host Idaho at 6PM, trying to avenge an 84-81 overtime loss in Moscow a month ago. The Bronco men then face Cal State Bakersfield with that dreaded 8:15 start. Doubleheaders with late tipoffs on weeknights are tough enough at the gate. Add in a non-marquee opponent for the men, and the early rivalry game appears to be the feature. A peek at today’s Statesman would support that theory, as there’s no preview of the men’s game.
Cal State Bakersfield, a Division I independent, is just 7-18 this season. But the Roadrunners beat Idaho State 82-79 in Reed Gym Monday night. The Broncos already know about taking things for granted—witness the San Jose State game last month that was supposed to provide a break, and instead produced a 76-74 loss. BSU beat CSUB by only four on the road last season. Raise your hand if you remember it was Cal State Bakersfield from which Bobby Dye was hired as Boise State’s coach almost 27 years ago.
This week’s print edition of the Sporting News features a story on the new “big five” college football quarterbacks for the 2010 season. After all, the Big Three (Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy) are gone. Matt Hayes has Boise State’s Kellen Moore No. 2 behind Ryan Mallett of Arkansas. And there’s this observation on Moore from TCU coach Gary Patterson: “I was just really impressed with his poise. My goodness, is he going to be a good one next year. He stands in there and makes throws and takes hits and pops right back up. You don’t see that very often.” The other three QBs cited by Hayes are Oregon’s Jeremiah Masoli, Washington’s Jake Locker, and Houston’s Case Keenum, Moore’s text-messaging buddy.
And there’s more Moore. You can’t help but check Sports Illustrated.com every day—there’s a big photo of Kellen on the college football page again. This time the story is about recruiting classes, and how pointless it is to rank them on signing day. SI.com’s Andy Staples has re-ranked the recruiting lists from 2007 based on on-field production. Rivals.com had Florida No. 1 that year, and Staples has the Gators No. 1 now. Rivals ranked Boise State’s class 68th on signing day in ’07—and Staples has that Bronco group at No. 2 now. He notes that 10 current BSU starters came out of that class, including Moore and his three favorite receivers, Titus Young, Austin Pettis and Kyle Efaw.
Listen to Staples’ explanation of the discrepancy: So how did the evaluators at Rivals—and Scout and SI and everywhere else—so badly underestimate this class? Simple. Boise State doesn't have a huge fan base. There aren't as many potential subscribers, so, from a business perspective, it doesn't make sense to spend as much time evaluating Boise State recruits as Alabama or Texas recruits. That's probably the biggest flaw in recruiting rankings.” Ouch.
With Coby Karl back on the Idaho Stampede roster after a relatively productive 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors, let’s check up on two other guys who left the Stampede for the NBA. Sundiata Gaines has only played five total minutes for the Utah Jazz since scoring a career-high 12 points in 24 minutes in a win over Sacramento January 29. Nothing has been able to touch the buzzer-beating three-pointer he hit to beat LeBron James and Cleveland in mid-January. Gaines is averaging 3.2 points and seven minutes per game. Anthony Tolliver has been a significant contributor for the Warriors, starting six of the 13 games he’s played. Tolliver is averaging 10.2 points and six rebounds a game and scored 29 a week ago in a rout of the L.A. Clippers.
Forgive Karl if he’s a bit distracted when he rejoins the Stampede Friday night. His dad, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, has been diagnosed with neck and throat cancer and is set to undergo a rigorous stretch of radiation and chemotherapy. The elder Karl made the emotional announcement last night, surrounded by members of his team and the Nuggets organization. Coby, of course, is a cancer survivor himself.
While we’re updating former Boise pros at the next level, it’s a good time for a look at one-time Idaho Steelhead Richard Clune. The 22-year-old left wing made his NHL debut last Thursday with the Los Angeles Kings. And two days later, Clune notched his first two NHL points with a pair of assists in a 3-0 blanking of Colorado. In fact, he was named third star of the night. Clune also got the first fighting major of his NHL career when he went at it with Avalanche enforcer Cody McLeod just 2½ minutes into the game. But alas, he was optioned to Manchester of the AHL yesterday. Clune played 19 games with the Steelheads two seasons ago.
Sara Studebaker is halfway through her Olympic biathlon experience after finishing 46th yesterday in the 10-kilometer pursuit at Whistler. The Boise High grad was 45th in the 7.5-kilometer sprint Saturday, but this time she was the only American in the field. Next up for Studebaker is the 15-kilometer individual race tomorrow. Today, Ketchum’s Morgan Arritola is scheduled to ski in the women’s individual sprint.
This Day In Sports…February 17, 2004:
The New York Yankees, thought by many to be evolving into merely an All-Star team, plug in the biggest prize yet. The Yankees finalized a trade with the Texas Rangers to bring in reigning American League MVP Alex Rodriguez and his $25 million a year contract (although Texas was still responsible for a good chunk of it). The Yanks planned to make A-Rod a third baseman, leaving team captain Derek Jeter at shortstop.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He also handles color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football.)